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The Arizona State University track and field team has established itself as one of the elite track and field programs in the nation under the guidance of head coach Greg Kraft and his exceptional supporting cast of assistant coaches. With five NCAA Team Championships to the team’s credit (four of those within the past decade), 64 NCAA Individual Championships, five relay championships and over 500 career All-America honors earned, there are few program in the nation that have rivaled Arizona State’s success on the track. The Sun Devils have produced 16 Olympic medalists – 10 of them gold – and 57 individual appearances at the Olympic Games as well as 11 medalists at World Championships events and 64 such individual appearances in those events. As if that weren’t enough, the Sun Devil track and field team is also one of the most academically sound programs in the nation combing for over 700 academic honors throughout its history. No matter how you spin it, Sun Devil Track and Field is synonymous with success and the program has no signs of slowing down in the future.
The ASU track and field program in general has produced several notable post-graduate professionals including Dwight Phillips (Nike), Trevell Quinley (adidas), Ryan Whiting (Nike), Sarah Stevens-Walker (Shore AC), Charonda Williams (adidas), Jasmine Chaney (Nike) and Latosha Wallace (Asics).
The Sun Devil distance program has had a lot of success post-collegiately through the years. Over the years, 13 student-athletes have gone on to professional careers at numerous running outfits. Six Sun Devils have signed contracts with Nike following their collegiate careers in Victoria Jackson, Kyle Alcorn, Aaron Aguayo, Lisa Aguilera, Alvina Begay, and Shelby Houlihan. Other notable companies that have signed Sun Devils include Brooks (Desiree Davila and Amy Hastings), Asics (Kelly McDonald and Brandon Strong) and New Balance (Fasil Bizuneh). Some of the independent runners include Brandon Bethke (Quicksilver), Allie Kieffer (Empire Athletics) and Ryan Warrenburg (Zap Fitness).
In addition to professional success, the Sun Devils have made their mark at the Olympic games with 10 gold medals that date back to the 1952 Games and has featured a Sun Devil track and field athlete in every Olympiad since.
The Sun Devils have seen alumni go on to make 57 appearances at the Olympics games, five of those coming at the most recent 2012 London Games. In total, the team has produced 16 Olympic medalists.
The Sun Devils have also seen plenty of athletes succeed at the World Championships level, with 64 individual appearances in all and 11 medals earned. Most recently, Ryan Whiting became the first Sun Devil world champion in a throwing event, winning the shot put title at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
The Arizona State track and field program sets a yearly goal for itself of being a top-three contender at the Pac-12 Conference level and a top-10 performer at the NCAA Championship level. In the past decade, the Sun Devils have met and exceeded those goals on numerous occasions. The Sun Devil women have finished in the top three at the Pac-12 Championships in eight of the last 10 years. They also won three conference championships in three straight years from 2006 to 2008. In the same span, the squad has posted 10 top-10 finishes between the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships along with three National Championships. Of the 20 NCAA Championships (indoors and outdoors) decided in the last decade, only nine teams have reached the top with ASU having done so multiple times, becoming the only program outside Oregon and Texas A&M to win three or more NCAA Championships during that span.
The Sun Devil men have posted four top-three finishes at the conference level in the last decade while posting seven top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. The Sun Devil men won the NCAA Indoor title in 2008, making it a sweep of the indoor awards alongside the women’s team. ASU became the only program in NCAA history outside of LSU to accomplish the sweep indoors. The men’s throws have seen an absolutely dominating effort in recent years, with Ryan Whiting and Jordan Clarke combing to win nine of 11 NCAA shot put titles contended over the course of seven seasons.
While being one of the elite athletic programs nationally, the Sun Devil track and field program has also established itself as one of the top programs in the country in academics as well. Over the years, the Sun Devils have compiled over 500 Pac-12 All-Academic selections between track and field and cross country, 22 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, 43 CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII honors, seven USTFCCCA Scholar-Athletes of the Year, four USTCCCA National Academic Team of the Year Awards, 14 USTFCCCA All-Academic Team Awards and over 100 USTFCCCA Individual All-Academic selections.
There are few coaching staffs in the nation as decorated as the one you will find at Arizona State University. At the helm is Greg Kraft, who has been the man behind the program that has seen the program earn four team championships, more than 30 NCAA Individual NCAA Champions and over 200 All-America honors since taking over in 1996. ASU’s assistant coaches have combined to produce more than 25 NCAA Individual Champions while sending numerous student-athletes on to successful post-graduate careers on the international level.